The eventual 2012 Republican presidential nominee is dead in the water if he or she cannot win Ohio, and this is not a good sign…
This is the first time in six Public Policy Polling (PPP) surveys of Ohio since June 2009 that Obama’s had more voters approving of him than disapproving. In December 42% of voters expressed approval of him while 49% disapproved. The key to his improved standing is that the base has rallied around him. Where only 71% of Democrats expressed approval of him on that poll, 84% of Democrats do now. The first couple years of the Obama administration featured a lot of Democrats fighting with each other- now that they’ve sort of unified around a common enemy in the form of John Kasich it seems to be leading to a more united party up and down the line.
There’s certainly bad news for Obama in his approval numbers too. He remains unpopular with independents, only 39% of whom approve of him to 49% who disapprove. And his already pretty much nonexistent support from Republicans has shrunk even further from 11% to 7%. Still having his own party’s voters behind him puts him in the best shape he’s been in the state since the early months of his tenure.
Obama leads all of the top Republicans in the state by margins greater than his 4 point win over John McCain in 2008. Mitt Romney is the most competitive, trailing Obama by 6 points at 46-40. After him it’s Mike Huckabee trailing by 7 at 48-41, Newt Gingrich down 12 at 50-38, and Sarah Palin at a 16 point advantage, 52-36.